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RIDOT Advises Motorists: Friday A.M. Commute + Heavy Snow = Very Slow Going

Rhode Island is expecting another snow storm starting tonight, and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) is advising motorists that Friday morning’s commute could be a slow one due to significant snowfall.

A Winter Weather Advisory was issued by the National Weather Service for the following areas of Rhode Island: Block Island, Bristol, Kent, Newport, Northwest Providence, Southeast Providence, Washington, and Western Kent counties. A Winter Weather Warning is expected shortly.

“The worst part of the snow storm is expected to coincide with tomorrow’s rush hour,” said RIDOT Director Michael P. Lewis. “We are advising motorists to consider shifting their work hours to later in the day to avoid the heaviest snows. All drivers should plan for a substantial amount of travel time.”

The storm is expected to hit Rhode Island between midnight and 3 a.m. with the peak of the storm occurring between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. During this time visibility is expected to be less than a quarter mile with heavy snow falling at a rate of one to two inches per hour. Fluffy snow is predicted and there is no chance of rain. Winds will be light.

Extreme cold is expected over the weekend with the coldest temperatures coming Sunday night when temperatures could dip to –3 degrees. Wind chills will be substantial.

The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency (RIEMA) is advising Rhode Islanders who find themselves without heat for any reason to call 211, a United Way of Rhode Island service linking callers in need to available health and human service programs. Operators will help those affected find a warm shelter. They also advise that pets not be exposed to subzero temperatures for more than 20 minutes.

RIDOT will have its full complement of state plows and vendors coming in to prep for the storm starting at 11 p.m. and working straight through the completion of the storm and beyond. Roads will be pre-treated, and once the snow starts to fall, they will be cleared as quickly as possible.

Motorists with storm-related questions can contact RIDOT’s Customer Service office at 401-222-2450 weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Additional information will posted on RIDOT’s website (www.dot.ri.gov) as well as its social media sites, Twitter and Facebook.

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Contact: Dana Alexander Nolfe, RIDOT, 401-222-1362 x4450 Steve Kass, RIEMA, 401-462-7127

Related links

Department or agency: Department of Transportation

Online: http://www.dot.ri.gov

Release date: 01-20-2011

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